"A work of art that works"
The above quote sums up the philosophy behind the manufacturing company, Mag Instrument Inc. The founder, Anthony Maglica, was running an engineering company, and was looking to create a product that would highlight the high standards he set for himself. After much thought, he set his sights on designing and manufacturing a high-quality flashlight for the public safety sector.
He took great care to design a torch that was rugged, efficient and stylish, and introduced the first of the Maglite® range in 1979. Word about the high quality and versatility of the product spread quickly. Police officers, firefighters and mechanics appreciated the high build quality, and those who used them quickly spread the word about this substantial piece of equipment, and the general public began to take notice.
There were (and are) many things which make MagLite® torches stand out. One is the sturdy anodized aluminum casing, capable of taking almost any punishment likely to be thrown at it, and the outside has a diamond-knurled grip - important in any application. They were originally available only in black, then silver - more colours were added later. Other features which Maglica built in included: a high-precision, specially-designed reflector, attached to a device which allowed the beam to be focused from a spotlight to a floodlight; a waterproof, sealed battery compartment, and a spare bulb. Even the glass lens is made of thicker glass than regular flashlights, to protect against damage. The C- and D-cell torches have a sealed rubber switch with a signalling (flash) capacity, and any MagLite, large or small, is both shockproof and waterproof.
Aside from the technical and design features, Maglica also felt sufficiently confident in the quality of the MagLite, that he offered a lifetime warranty on it. His innovations changed the portable lighting industry forever and his products became the standard by which others' were measured.
Variety and Style
Not content with one high-profile product, he designed and introduced many other torches, designed for almost any application. His Rechargeable Flashlight System, is one of the most powerful rechargeables of its size. The Mini Maglite (designed to use AA batteries) was introduced in 1984 and as with the full-size torch, set a new standard for personal size flashlights. The Mini Maglite for AAAs was launched in 1987 (with the medical profession in mind), and the single-AAA Solitaire the following year. The full range also includes 2-6 C-cell and D-cell torches, which are still favoured by police, security and other demanding services.
MagLites have won many design honours, including one from the Japan Institute of Design, and and the Museum for Applied Art in Germany. The Wall Street Journal described it as "the Cadillac of flashlights", and quoted Apple Computer's then CEO, Gilbert F.Amelio as saying he wanted Apple to be "essentially the Maglite of computers", a goal he has perhaps met, given the range of colours the torches come in.
Each torch is individually numbered, and owners are encouraged to register the product, and to take a pride in it. After all, any MagLite is considered to be the Rolls-Royce or Cadillac of the flashlight market, and who would not want to be proud of that?